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2019 Survived and Thrived Business | Chiguacle Sabor Ancestral

2019 Survived and Thrived Business | Chiguacle Sabor Ancestral

Hispanic Lifestyle is pleased to recognize Chiguacle Sabor Ancestral – Sun Valley/Chiguacle Sabor Ancestral de Mexico as a 2019 Survived and Thrived Business. Chiguacle Sabor Ancestral-Sun Valley/Chiguacle Sabor Ancestral de Mexico was recognized along with their fellow honorees at BizCon 2019 during our lunchtime program on June 12, 2019 at the Ontario Airport Hotel and Conference Center, Ontario California. 

Perseverance should be the Arellano family’s middle name. They live by the philosophy to “get back up when life knocks you down and to get back up quickly and never give up.” Alonso Arellano, an immigrant from Michoacan, Mexico, and Elsa Arellano, an immigrant from El Salvador have both led determined lives and worked hard throughout their lives. They persist and don’t listen to naysayers. Alonso Arellano’s story is rare.

He is one of only three Latino medical physicists in the United States. After serving in the army, he worked his way through college, went to UCLA to study physics and became a cancer researcher. He currently works in radiology at Kaiser in Los Angeles where he provides treatment to cancer patients. While for most people that would be the pinnacle of success. But for Alonso Arellano he saw the need for more. It is through his work that he saw a need and had a great concern for the health of people and the Latino community specifically with the high propensity for obesity, diabetes and other serious diseases. He wanted to provide healthful Mexican food to the community that focused on ancestral foods that are more healthful than what is typically known as Mexican food.

With much faith, the Arellano’s opened Rocio’s Mole de los Dioses in Sun Valley that focused on the indigenous foods of Southern Mexico that focused on nopal, mole and whole foods that promoted good health. After much investment and seven day work weeks, the restaurant became a center for the community. They purchased their produce from a community co-op.

It was not only a place to have delicious healthful quality food, but became a gathering place for community organizations. It was a place that the community often turned to that supported local artists and embraced Mexican and L.A.’s culture.
It was a horrific shock when the restaurant was set on fire. It was devastating and employees found themselves without a job. Instead of routing them to the unemployment line, the Arellano’s looked to a corner of the building that wasn’t damaged by the fire, and got to work to quickly open a Pop up restaurant called Botanero Mazatlan so that their employees could keep working. When a call for bids opened up at downtown Olvera Street for proposals for a different kind of restaurant, Arellano took another big leap of faith and secured the spot to open Chiguacle Sabor Ancestral de Mexico on Olvera Street. This venture however would also prove to be quite difficult as much of what was described in the bid was not accurate and far more financial support and investment was required than described.
However, the family has now successfully got that location up and running with around the clock work. It too has opened their doors for community organizations.

At the same time, the family was hit hard when their daughter Selena was diagnosed with leukemia and needed a bone marrow transplant. Selena, continues to fight for her health and continues to work and make her contribution to the restaurant and maintain a positive outlook.

After four years of never giving up, with every setback thrown at them,  the Sun Valley restaurant is nearly ready to open their doors once again. They have never stopped. The community is ready and waiting to celebrate.
The Arellano’s always believing even in the face of the most extreme adversity has provided opportunity. They commissioned a young artist to paint a mural inside the restaurant and gave him creative license. The artist, from Guatemala, asked the workers who have literally gone through fire what words were important to them and he incorporated those words into the mural. It’s no surprise that one of those words at the center of the mural is “Perseverance.”

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